Mississippi city to purchase land to make way for larger aircraft, extend airport runway

Published 6:32 am Sunday, December 26, 2021

The city of Starkville is preparing to extend the runway at George M. Bryan Airport.

After the board of aldermen approved an option contract, it got the opportunity to buy the land directly south of the airport, something Airport Director Rodney Lincoln said the city has been trying to do since 2012, The Commercial Dispatch reported.
The land would extend the runway’s length from 5,550 feet (1,676 meters) to 6,550 feet (1,996 meters) and ensure that nothing is built in close proximity to the airport, Lincoln said.

“I feel really good because now we can extend our runway 1,000 feet,” Lincoln said. “… It’s going to be safer for the aircraft.”
The city has 45 days to officially purchase the land, Mayor Lynn Spruill said. The board is expected to vote to officially do that at the second regular meeting in January.

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The cost of the land is $500,000. The Federal Aviation Administration would fund 95% of the purchase price, leaving the city to pay $25,000.

“It’s a long project,” Lincoln said of the amount of time that’s gone into the project. “We’ve been working on getting this for a while.”

With the extension of the runway, more airplanes, especially larger ones, could fly into Starkville, Spruill said.
“You have more flexibility with the type of aircraft that can come in,” Spruill said.

Spruill said the project has been in the works for a while and is glad the current owner is willing to sell the land to the city.
“We’re delighted that the owner has chosen to participate with us and to make this a reality,” Spruill said.